Most time, a writer cannot afford to write full-time. Therefore, you have to get motivated to write, despite distractions by juggling work, family, and different writing projects. And many times, your writing comes last. This can cause frustration and resentful feelings. One way to avoid distractions is to make sure you don’t get interrupted by other things when you sit down to write.
It can be especially hard to get some writing done during the Christmas Holidays. However, it is essential to your success that you keep writing and that you keep your writing time sacrosanct, even during the holidays.
One way that I learned to do that is by making sure that my writing time is still in place in the earlier part of the day. That way, no matter who wants me to do something, I still could partake in family activities, but only after I finish my writing for the day.
Here are a few tips to deal with distractions most effectively during the holidays.
Kristi Holl in Writer’s First Aid says “When you focus, you’ll accomplish writing projects in half the tie, and your concentrated efforts will product better work. Focusing also builds momentum and enthusiasm, urging you to move steadily toward finishing your stories, articles, and books.”
Your ability to focus will make the difference between constantly being side-tracked to doing other things, and actually focusing. As Stephen Covey says in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
2. Isolate yourself
Be steadfast and resolute and set up a time to continue writing every day, even on holidays. Many of you may be distracted by outside noise or traffic. If this is the case, pull the blinds and close the window. Or, if you’re distracted by people sitting around and drinking and goofing around, go outside and sit and write on your laptop. Do whatever you need to get some writing done. But never write with other people in the living room or in your writing space. Always try to set up a space for yourself alone.
3. Don’t do anything but write during your allotted time
Many of you start writing for a few minutes, and then feel compelled to do something else. This duplicitous mindset can interrupt creativity and flow. Further, these activities will force you to not be as productive because your attention is split into too many different directions. This can take you away from your writing goals and ultimately frustrate you.
4. Change your schedule
Many of you may be writing when you’re not refreshed or too distracted, such as after dinner when the kids are at home and your hubby is trying to get your attention. Instead, you may want to get up earlier in the morning, or stay up later at night after everyone is in bed and write then.
By following these tips, you can avoid being side-tracked by distractions during the holidays so that you will be get motivated to write on a daily basis. You owe it to yourself to master the art of carving out the time and space to write even when vacation and life gets in the way. Only then will you be productive, successful, and happy.
This adapted version of the serenity prayers says it best. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the distractions I cannot change, courage to change the distractions I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
~ Irene S. Roth